A radiant blue sky, stunning bougainvilleas, steep coasts where the passage of time has left its visible mark, fresh grilled fish, cold and revitalising waters, helpful smiling people in the streets, glazed tiles and walls full of history, awe-inspiring beaches… I’m talking about the Algarve.
The Algarve! It was just what I needed… A 4-day getaway during which I was able to explore this incredible region in southern Portugal.
As soon as I got to Faro I started to relax: cobblestone streets, sunshades that protect you from the scorching sun, small terraces that invite you to sit down… In this cozy environment you just can’t help it! You end up sitting down in a quaint bar, ordering a refreshing beverage and enjoying perfectly seasoned olives…
After a pleasant boat ride we arrived at Ilha Desherta, an island located inside the Ria Formosa National Park, a 7 km long sandbank with only one restaurant and a few charming stalls.
In this natural environment, far away from noisy streets and big hotels, I genuinely experienced tranquility and relaxation. Surprisingly, this peaceful haven is only 30 minutes away from Faro by boat; I was totally amazed by this wild paradise!
And I was also amazed by the beaches and caves of Benagil. Due to its morphology, this area is full of large and small caves, some in which the tide does not reach the end, creating a small and cozy beach.
In fact, the Algarve region is named after the most famous cave in the area: L’Algar.
My getaway wouldn’t have been completed if it weren’t for Vila Monte Farm House, a charming hotel full of lovely details, with its own garden and organic products.
Mediterranean style, soft colours and elegant design, Vila Monte Farm House is a place where one can actually feel what “slow life” is about.
In the hotel’s restaurant, A Terra, you will find a relaxed atmosphere, quiet and smiling staff and a delicious specialty: fish baked in a wood-fired oven. Simply mouth watering!
Horseback riding in the mountains, bicycle tours, boat trips at sunset, outdoors picnic… These are just some of the experiences that you can enjoy; I personally chose to ride a vintage bike and enjoyed the surroundings.
The rocky coast of the Algarve is definitely worth a visit; there, you will be able to notice how, for thousands and thousands of years, the ocean has been sculpting the rocks, creating the cliffs and real works of art in the stones.
In some ways, the Algarve is like a mixture of the Balearics and the Greek islands, with features reminiscent of Al-Andalus. Undoubtedly, a perfect destination for a summer-time getaway!